And I'm watching the Olympics! We love the Olympics in this house! I won't spend hours telling you about all the great picture books about Russia; there are plenty of lists online. But I will spotlight my three very favorite (excluding Christmas themes, that is) stories based in Russia from our collection:
I am especially fond of The Littlest Matryoshka by Corinne Bliss right now because my daughter finally has a sister! And this story captures that special relationship between sisters just beautifully. The tiniest little sister gets lost and goes through a series of adventures before finding her way back to her home with the other matryoshka sisters. Lovely gentle art throughout…
No one captures pastoral Ukraine or Russia like Patricia Polacco and Rechenka's Eggs is one of our very favorite books to bring out toward the end of Lent and close to the Easter season. It's a great kickstart to any kind of pysanky projects one might want to delve into. Another variation of this folktale can be found in the lovely book: The Birds' Gift: A Ukrainian Easter Story by Eric Kimmel.
Lastly is A Symphony of Whales by Steve Schuch. A couple years ago, I based an entire unit study on this book. I am so in love with everything about it: it's based on a true story of villagers saving some beluga whales from ice entrapment, it's richly illustrated in oil paintings, and the story is based in a unique geographical area that doesn't usually get much attention: the Chukchi Peninsula. It is truly a living book if ever there was one. In fact, I need to replace my paperback copy to get it hardbound.
"Little by little, one travels far…"